Seychelles’ Tourism Festival this year will take place from September 27 until October 3 under a theme focusing on the future of the industry, a top official said Monday.
The festival will be held under the theme ‘Shaping our Future’ and the principal secretary for tourism, Sherin Francis, said that it was chosen because “we have been through a very tough period with the COVID-19 and it’s opportune for us to look at new ways for doing things.”
The Tourism Festival will coincide with the World Tourism Day on September 27 this year which will be held under the theme ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth.’
Normally, several activities are organised to commemorate the event but due to the current COVID-19 restrictions in place on large gatherings, many events planned will be done virtually.
The week-long event will start with the unveiling of the Tourism Pioneers. Eight individuals who are making significant contributions to the tourism industry will have their names engraved on ceramic tiles and displayed at the Pioneers Park at the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA).
Francis said that due to the restrictions on the gathering of large groups congregating, for a tree planting activity “we have asked our stakeholders as well as the public in general to plant a tree, take a photo and then upload it up to our #Seychellestreeplanters.”
The week-long event will start with the unveiling of the Tourism Pioneers. (Tourism Seychelles) Photo License: CC-BY
New on the programme will be children’s interviews of local personalities in the tourism industry – as a means of getting the younger generation interested in the field at a young age. The ensuing interviews will be aired on the official channel of the Seychelles Islands.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, relies heavily on tourism, the top contributor to the country’s economy.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing closure of borders worldwide has forced the tourism department to review the way it marketed Seychelles as a destination and the type of visitors it welcomed to its shores.
“At the Tourism Department we have re-looked at our strategy and on the products side we have been looking at ways to diversify what we offer,” she said of her department’s aim to guarantee the industry’s future.
At the moment Seychelles, like many other countries dependent on tourism is well known for a sun, sea and sand destination, something the department is working on changing now that it is looking into cultural as well as community tourism.
“We are looking into bringing our visitors into the community, we’ve started doing audits in various districts to identify interesting personalities that we can lead our visitors to create interesting experiences,” said Francis.